Inside Higher Ed
June 18th, 2015
Dear Kerry Ann,
We often read and hear about how much new Ph.D.s long to step
into tenure-track faculty positions. I am honored to be in this role,
but I find that many days I question if this is the best place for me.
At the end of my first year, I am wondering: How do you know when it's
time to cut your losses and seek positions outside of the academy?
New and Confused
Dear New and Confused,
Yours is an extremely common question among tenure-track faculty,
especially at the end of the first year. On one hand, the state of the
academic job market means that anyone landing a tenure-track position
knows that they are fortunate and therefore, tends to feel an
overwhelming sense of gratitude. On the other hand, that gratitude often
keeps us from asking the larger, far more important question: Do I
really want to do this? As always, there’s no one-size-fits-all advice,
but I do want to suggest some guiding questions to help you navigate
your own answer to this important question.